The Endangered Language Documentation Programme (ELDP) provides grants worldwide to for the linguistic documentation of endangered language and knowledge. Grantees create multimedia collection of endangered languages. These collections are preserved and made freely available through the Endangered Languages Archive (ELAR) housed at the library of SOAS University of London.
This project will provide rich descriptions of four languages from the eastern Indonesian province of Central Maluku — a region with both high linguistic diversity and the highest level of language endangerment in Indonesia, yet which remains one of the most undescribed regions linguistically. A history of long-standing contact with non-indigenous peoples, colonisation, intensive trade, and conversion to non-indigenous religions have all played a role in language endangerment. The research team will document Soahuku/Amahei (Seram Island), Haruku (Haruku Island), and Allang and Tulehu (both of Ambon Island) in both the homeland and with remaining speakers in the Indonesian diaspora in the Netherlands. This project also incorporates the training of Community Language Workers in language documentation techniques in order to support language maintenance initiatives in both settings. Partner institutions include Pattimura University (Ambon), the MPI Field Station and Atma Jaya University (Jakarta), the Moluks Historisch Museum (Utrecht), and the KITLV (Leiden and Jakarta).
Primary investigator: Margaret Florey